South Down Margaret Ritchie has called on the British government to match the Irish government’s commitment to a lower rate of VAT for the tourism sector and to scrap airport passenger duty on all flights.
Speaking following the budget Ms Ritchie said: “I warmly welcome the Irish Government’s renewed commitment to the lower rate of VAT for the tourism sector and the scrapping of airport passenger duty. These decisions demonstrate their commitment to the industry and will spur growth across the sector.
“Tourism is at the heart of our economy in Ireland and these measures should boost tourism numbers across the island hopefully including in my own constituency of South Down. The lower rate of VAT has already acted as a stimulus for the industry creating 9,000 jobs and boosting tourist numbers by over 1,500.
“However, it is deeply regrettable that the British government have not followed suit and stubbornly refuse to back similar measures. The UK government needs to act immediately to introduce equivalent policies in the North of Ireland to ensure that the industry remains economically competitive and to maximise the benefit that these measures will bring in the rest of Ireland.”]]>